The chemical industry produces significant quantities of by-product hydrogen. Production of chlorine, sodium-chlorate and ethylene/styrene are the largest sources. Chemical manufacturers can put this by-product hydrogen to a variety of uses, including transport.
If hydrogen is not put to use it is vented or burned. Chemical manufacturers are failing to capture the full potential value of this gas if vented or burned. With electricity representing approximately 70% of the production cost of chlorine, taking a waste product and turning it into clean energy on site is a very attractive proposition. With a fuel cell system, the by-product hydrogen can be used to produce clean, zero-emission electricity that is either put into the grid, or used to fuel hydrogen vehicles.
Cologne, a phase 0 city within the CHIC project, utilizes by-product hydrogen to fuel two 18 meter articulated buses. About 230 chemical companies of all sizes and sectors are based in the Cologne area. The ChemCologne region is one of the major centers of chemical industry in Europe.